[TitleWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
March/April 2000
Copyright © Information Today, Inc.
by Kathie Felix, News/Reviews Editor 
TitleWatch lists recently released educational software products that relate to the K-12 curriculum. This list is primarily but not exclusively comprised of CD-ROM products; other formats (diskettes, videodiscs) are noted in the text. Suggestions for entries and press releases should be addressed to Kathie Felix at P. O. Box 2444, Merrifield, VA 22116 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.

(All titles are CD-ROM unless otherwise noted.)


I Spy Junior, for children ages 3 to 5, features more than 70 picture riddles, puzzles, and multi-level games designed to strengthen critical-thinking skills. I Spy Spooky Mansion, for ages 6 to 10, takes youngsters on a journey through a mysterious old mansion filled with riddles, multi-level games, and an adventure story that encourages problem solving, rhyming, reading, vocabulary development, and creativity. $30—single user, Mac/Win hybrid. Scholastic, 800/724-4718 or http://www.scholastic.com/.

JumpStart Adventures 4th Grade 2000 brings students to the Sapphire Falls gem mine to solve the mystery of a stolen treasure map. Based on national curriculum standards, the program focuses on skills in language arts, math, geography, history, earth and natural science, art, and music. Skill level adjustability, a student progress report, and a printed Teacher’s Guide are included. Mac or Win 95/98. $40—teacher edition. $115—five-user lab pack. $325—15-user site license. $700—network version. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/.

USA Explorer, for students ages 5 to 9, takes young travelers on a tour of the U.S. to explore regional history, natural wonders, people and places and to follow clues to more than 50 destinations. Youngsters can create travelogues with photos, personalized maps, regional weather reports, postcards that can be sent electronically, and maps that can be printed for coloring. $30—single user, Mac/Win. DK Interactive Learning, 888/342-5357 or http://www.dk.com/.

Star Wars: Yoda’s Challenge transports students ages 6 and older to the world of Star Wars: Episode I, with six missions on Naboo and Tatooine. The disc offers math, reading, and music activities with four levels of difficulty, an opportunity to print sheet music with notes and lyrics, and more than 20 puzzles in each activity. $30—single user, Mac/Win 95/98 hybrid. Lucas Learning, 888/887-7909 or http://www.lucaslearning.com/.

*Early Learning

JumpStart Phonics helps youngsters ages 3 to 6 build early reading skills at JumpStart Camp. The disc includes assessment and adaptive technology, as well as voice recognition technology that allows teachers to track student progress by listening to recordings in each of the five activities. Teacher support materials included. Mac or Win 95/98. $40—teacher edition. $115—five-user lab packs. $325—15-user site license. $700—network version. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/.

Nouns and Sounds helps youngsters increase auditory awareness and build listening skills as they learn to match common environmental sounds with 100 realistic photographs. Seven activities accommodate a range of language functioning levels. The program is appropriate for students with special needs. $105—single copy, Mac/Win hybrid. $367—five copies. $630—10 copies. $1,050—20 copies. $525—network license. Laureate Learning, 800/562-6801 or http://www.laureatelearning.com/.

Rescue Heroes Hurricane Havoc, for ages 4 to 7, invites youngsters to join an elite team of rescuers to save people, animals, and buildings after a hurricane. Six activities place rescuers in emergency situations where they fly helicopters, extinguish fires, escape flood zones, recover priceless museum collections, and more. $20—Mac or Win. The Learning Company, 800/358-9144 or http://www.learningco.com/.

Tiger’s Tale encourages youngsters to talk for a tiger who has lost his voice. Students can record their voices, create movies, and hear themselves speak for the tiger as they work on improving language, articulation, fluency, and literacy skills. Includes language and literacy goals and objectives that can be used in IEPs and portfolio assessments. Appropriate for students with special needs. $125—single copy, Mac/Win hybrid. $437—five copies. $750—10 copies. $1,250—20 copies. $625—network license. Laureate Learning, 800/562-6801 or http://www.laureatelearning.com/.

The ever-roaming Curious George and his friends are up to more adventuring in four new software titles. Curious George PreK ABCs, for grades PreK-2, introduces youngsters to the alphabet with six multi-level animated activities that take place at a zoo, a bakery, an airfield, and a lake. Curious George Preschool Learning Games, for grades PreK-2, presents five arcade games that promote the visual and auditory descrimination skills that all students need before they begin to read. Curious George Comes Home, for grades K-2, brings a package of surprising story situations that teach communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and socializing skills. The Curious George Paint & Print Studio, for grades PreK-4, provides a full-featured art program that includes more than 1,000 stamps, scores of canvases, backgrounds, borders, templates, and a text feature that lets students make their own books, stories, cards, signs, games, puzzles, and more. Sunburst Communications, 800/321-7511 or http://www.sunburst.com/.

*Language Arts

The Get a Clue Vocabulary Development Series provides self-paced multi-level instruction for students in grades 6-12, targeting general vocabulary, test preparation (SAT/ACT), and English as a Second Language (ESL). The Jr. Basics Edition is designed for grades 5-8; the Basics Edition for grades 9-12. The Mastery Edition expands the Basics Edition with network and Web access. Mac or Win. $50—single user, Jr. Basics Edition; $60—single user, Basics Edition. Multiple user lab packs and site licenses are available. The Mastery Edition, an annual subscription, costs between $2.50 and $3.50 per student. A set up fee of $500 is required for a subscription for less than 150 students. Lyceum Communications, 888/321-2583 or http://www.getaclue.com/.

Spelling Power: Focus on Spelling, Meaning and Writing provides research-based spelling materials that allow students in grades 1-8 to proceed at their own pace with three versions of the same high-frequency word list in each lesson. The program includes student books by level (A-H), teacher’s guides for each level, and a hybrid CD-ROM for levels C-H. $11—single copy, student books. $32—five pack  per level, student books. $27—teacher’s guide, per level. $25—single user, Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM. Volume discounts are available. Curriculum Associates, 800/225-0248 or http://www.curriculumassociates.com/.

The interactive game show now reviews literature with That’s A Fact, Jack! Read. Designed for grades 3-10, the program covers 450 books in a series of 45 themed CDs. Themes include American History before 1900, Loyalty and Honor, and Sports and Life. Educators can create their own pack or site license combinations. Mac/Win. $45 each—five or more units. $40 each—10 or more units. $35 each—20 or more units. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.

Each CD in The Writing Trek series for grades 4-10 contains 12 structured projects featuring a range of writing genres including poetry, research, journalism, fiction, and more. A Writer’s Handbook, almanac (with mini-encyclopedia, rhyming dictionary, and thesaurus), glossary, and a direct link to The Writing Trek Web site provide additional project material. CD-ROMs are available for grades 4-6, 6-8, and 8-10. Mac or Win. $90—single copy. $180—five-pack. $450—24-pack. $900—unlimited use. Sunburst Communications/ED-Vantage Software Inc., 800/338-3457 or http://www.sunburst.com/.


The Encyclopaedia Britannica CD 2000, a two-CD set, features more than 83,000 articles, 6,500 images, 1,500 maps, natural language searches, links to more than 125,000 Web sites, and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. An Analyst feature compares data between nations and creates instant reports, graphs, and tables. Timelines explore historical events in 14 subject areas, including science, music, and literature. $70—single user, Windows only. (A $20 mail-in rebate is available until December 31, 2000.) Encyclopaedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/. Distributed by Brøderbund, 415/895-2000 or http://www.broderbund.com/.


Science Seekers covers core science content as it introduces students in grades 5-8 to some of the exciting new technology that helps scientists solve challenging science puzzles. The series includes two titles: Hidden in Rocks and Safe Water. Optional hands-on kits are available for both. $80—single user, Mac/Win hybrid. $250—five-computer pack. $450—10-computer pack. $800—20-CD site license. $65—optional hands-on kit. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.

Science: Through Native American Eyes, for grades 5 through adult, presents scientific concepts from within Native American culture and meets national content standards for middle school science. The Educator’s Base Kit includes a single CD, technical manual, and printable teacher’s manual. Mac or Win. $75—single user; $300—five-CD kit. The Cradleboard Teaching Project/Nihewan Foundation, 702/240-5929 or http://www.cradleboard.org/.

Starry Night Backyard shows the sky as it appears from a backyard, another planet, or any time between 4713 B.C. to 9999 A.D. The program includes more than a million stars, all of the planets, positions of the Messier objects, and stick figures of all of the constellations. Mac PowerPC and Windows 95/98. $64—single user; $49—delivered from the Web site with no packaging. Sienna Software, 800/ 252-5417 or http://www.siennasoft.com/.

Wild Africa: Ngorongoro, 2nd edition, updates the original CD on the game parks and animals of East Africa using new technology. The program’s more than 500 photographs and 79 movies explore the national parks of Tanzania, including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Serengeti National Park, and Tarangire National Park. Mac and Win 95/98/NT. $50—single user. $180—five-unit lab pack. $600—25-unit site license. $400—One disc for up to 50 users on a network. Sumeria, 415/586-3820
or http://www.sumeria.com/.

*Social Studies/History

20th Century Day by Day examines the news, people, and historic events of the past century in more than 2 million words, 90 sound clips, 70 video clips, and 3,000 photos. The disc includes events occuring up to June 1999. News stories from July 1999 to January 2000 are available through a built-in Web link. $30—single user, Win/Mac hybrid. DK Interactive Learning, 888/342-5357 or http://www.dk.com/.

The Environmental Movement in the United States: An Interactive Encyclopedia looks at 400 years of environmental concerns, beginning in the 1600s when conservation seemed a far-fetched notion. The disc includes nearly 400 entries supported by photos, audio and video clips, documents, and tables on the people, events, organizations, and legislation that have affected our environment. Mac or Win. $70—single user. $179—five-disc lab pack. $339—site license. ABC-CLIO Interactive, 800/368-6868 or http://www.abc-clio.com/.

The Other Side, for grades 5-12, allows students to work on the Internet in teams, simulating two nations trying to coexist while maintaining a stable economy, military responsibility, and national security. Team members communicate, negotiate, and strategize to resolve international conflicts and to secure resources to build a bridge of peace to the “other side.”A free demo is available online. $80—single user, Mac/Win hybrid. $200—five-computer lab pack. $350—10-computer lab pack. $800—20-CD site license. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.

With access to nearly 150,000 primary source visual and text materials, ResourceLink: 19th Century World History presents a balance of information on Western and non-Western peoples and events. Users can search, print, copy, and export selected resources on subjects such as the Trail of Tears, Li Hongzhang,
and Emile Zola. Mac or Win. $80—single user. $200—five-disc lab pack. $390—site license. ABC-CLIO Interactive, 800/368-6868 or http://www.abc-clio.com/.


MP Express creates multimedia presentations by integrating movies, pictures, backgrounds, sound effects, music scores, and the user’s own narration. Presentations are built a page at a time with ready-to-use templates. Students can work with the sample media files included on the disc or can import any standard format media file. Three companion resource CDs are available: On the Brink: Endangered Species; Living Deserts & Rainforests; and People of the World: Africa. MP Express: $50—single user, Mac/Win hybrid. $140—five station lab pack. $500—30-station licensed edition. Resource CDs: $30—single user, Mac/Win hybrid. $84—five packs. Bytes of Learning, 800/465-6428 or http://www.bytesoflearning.com/.

StageCast Creator provides a customizable platform that allows students to create interactive stories, puzzles, games, and simulation models—or worlds—that can be posted on a Web page where anyone with a free Stagecast Web Player can play or change the “world.” Free trial versions are available online. $60—single user, Mac/Win hybrid. $380—10-seat license. $3,560—100-seat license. Stagecast Software, 877/782-4322 or http://www.stagecast.com/.

Web Workshop 2.0, for grades 2-8, is now available on CD-ROM. Using standard drawing and text tools, students and teachers can collaborate on Web projects—with no experience in HTML or other programming languages. Web links can be added by pointing and clicking. $90—single user, Mac/Win hybrid. $90—10-user lab pack. $600—unlimited school license. $600—network license. Sunburst Communications, 800/321-7511 or http://www.sunburst.com/.

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